The symbolism of eggs, stone and otherwise

Stone eggs

Eggs are unique in their history and symbology. Almost all cultures refer to an egg as a symbol of life or the potential of life. See through ancient eyes, an egg was a mystery both in its creation and its potential of what was to come. An egg holds the mystery of the universe, creation, luck, promise, wealth, health and immortality.

Today, we associate different colored eggs carved from assorted minerals with love and fertility (Rose Quartz), the acquisition of abundance (Aventurine), the projection of our ideas (Clear Quartz and Citrine) and procreation (a Shiva Lingam). However you choose to display a beautiful mineral egg in your home or work space, it will catch the light and shine its brilliance into any area you choose. Displaying a basket of colored eggs expresses the possibility of abundance and good wishes we would choose to share with loved ones.

Eggs, connected to birds, reptiles and a few mammals (platypus being one), are the reproductive mystery of life that holds possibility. Even, we have discovered in modern times, the human placenta is ovoid in its shape and holds the mystery of life. Hard shelled ovoids allowed humans to view the package of creation while staying in awe. Mystery and reality in one form. Creation and symbol in one object.

Across the world, the egg has been a powerful symbol representing procreation and the earth. Here is a collective symbol of our world being magically formed from a cosmic egg. This belief follows through India, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Phoenicia, Africa and Australia, including Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity. Not only was life represented by the egg, but reincarnation was strongly connected to the egg as a sign of life after death.

More than 2,500 years ago, eggshells were decorated as part of spring rituals in Africa and elsewhere to symbolize new growth and life. Undoubtedly influenced by these ancient ideas and practices, Christianity adopted the egg to denote the Easter time resurrection of the Christ. This practice extended into Eastern European countries in more elaborate painted eggs such as the pysanka of the Ukraine (10th century). Ostrich eggs, which first hung in mosques to symbolize light and life, later appeared in church Easter ceremonies (13th century).

Eggs have been ritualistically used to bless the home of a new bride to ensure fertility and smeared, along with bread and flour, onto farmer’s ploughs in the hopes of a good crop each spring. It was one believed an egg hidden in an animal’s body and broken, could destroy a malevolent supernatural power (“Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend”, Funk & Wagnall). It was also believed that a goiter or birthmark could be removed by rugby it with a fresh hen’s egg for nine days, then burying it the egg under the doorstep. Dreaming about eggs has foretold good luck, riches or a wedding, but if the egg was broken, then it meant lovers would quarrel. Central American Native Americans practiced ‘egg curing’, a traditional treatment of diagnosing an ailment by rubbing the bare skin of a patient with a broken egg and noticing the color of the yolk. Eggs have also been used to relieve a fever by rubbing an unbroken egg on the skin to absorb the heat ad then burying it in a stream.

Oomancy, or Ovomancy, the divination by eggs, was once widespread, too. The white (albumen) of the egg would be dropped into water and various predictions would be made according to the shapes it formed.

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